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Injury-hit Mali include two newcomers in African Cup of Nations squad

INJURY-HIT Mali has named uncapped Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Boubacar Traore and Lorient striker Sirine Doucoure in their squad for this month’s African Cup of Nations finals.

Traore, who joined Wolves from Metz in France last year after an initial loan spell, has previously played for Mali at junior level, including winning the African under-20 championship in 2019.

Doucoure has served mainly as a substitute this season and has scored one goal in Ligue 1.

Coach Eric Chelle, who will be without several key players in the Ivory Coast, brought in both players as replacements in his 27-man squad ahead of the Wednesday deadline.

Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure misses out after having surgery on an Achilles tendon injury while Atalanta forward El Bilal Toure has still not recovered from a serious thigh injury.

Also sidelined are Spain-based Ibrahima Kone, fullback Massadio Haidara from Racing Lens and former Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo, now at Standard Liege in Belgium.

Mali face Guinea-Bissau in a friendly in Bamako on Saturday before heading across the border to Ivory Coast where they will begin their Group E campaign against South Africa on Jan. 16. They will also meet Tunisia and Namibia in the group stage.


Goalkeepers: Aboubacar Doumbia (Afrique Football Elite), Djigui Diarra (Young Africans), Ismael Diawara (Malmo)

Defenders: Amadou Dante (Sturm Graz), Moussa Diarra (Toulouse), Mamadou Fofana (Amiens), Boubacar Kiki Kouyate (Montpellier), Sikou Niakate (Sporting Braga), Falaye Sacko (Montpellier), Hamari Traore (Stade Rennais)

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Midfielders: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham Hotspur), Mohamed Camara (Monaco), Lassana Coulibaly (Salernitana), Aliou Dieng (Al Ahly), Kamory Doumbia (Stade Brest), Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig), Diadie Samassekou (Hoffenheim), Adama ‘Noss’ Traore (Hull City), Boubacar Traore (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Forwards: Fousseni Diabate (Lausanne Sport), Nene Dorgeles (Salzburg), Sirine Doucoure (Lorient), Moussa Doumbia (Al Adala), Sekou Koita (Salzburg), Youssoufa Nikaite (Bani Yas), Lassine Sinayoko (AJ Auxerre), Ibrahima Sissoko (Saint Etienne).

By The African Mirror